In Reply: The primary end points of our study
were bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and plasma concentrations of a number of
inflammatory mediators associated with 2 different ventilatory strategies.
For safety reasons, we identified a priori criteria to discontinue patients
from the study. Seven patients were thus excluded from the study, and we did
not obtain cytokine levels at 24 or 36 hours for them. The reasons for the
dropouts were documented in our article. Including the patients who dropped
out, mortality at 28 days after admission was 59% and 36% and mean (SD) ventilator-free
days were 4 (8) days and 12 (11) days in the control and lung-protective treatment
groups, respectively. These values are similar to those reported in our article.
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